New Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin vowed that hissearch for a head coach would be confidential and he kept to hisword when he arrived at the Mastercard Memorial Cup on Fridaynight. Bergevin wore a wide grin as he brushed aside question afterquestion from the media about who may replace Randy Cunneyworthbehind the bench, and when the announcement will be made. "It's going well," said Bergevin, who replaced the fired PierreGauthier last month and then announced that Cunneyworth would nolonger be head coach. "It's going to be confidential, but slowlyit's moving forward. "I can't tell you exactly when. |
It could happen soon. It could be alittle longer. I don't have a time frame, but I'm working on it." He would not say how many candidates he has interviewed or whetherhe has had followup interviews with any of them. He said there wasno deadline to have a coach in place. And he was silent on rumours that the next coach would be BobHartley, who spent last season with Zurich in the Swiss league, oron talk of former Canadiens goaltender Patrick Roy, who coaches thejunior Quebec Remparts.
"There are all kinds of rumours about everything. I just focus onmy job," said Bergevin, with an ever wider smile. Bergevin has also been busy working with the scouting staff aheadof next month's draft in Pittsburgh, where the Canadiens hold thethird overall pick. He did not rule out trading up or down at the draft if it wasadvantageous to the club. And he did not dismiss the notion ofpicking a Russian player despite concerns they may opt to sign inthe KHL.
The top-rated player for the draft is Russian Nail Yakupov, andMikhail Grigorenko is also highly rated. "If you limit yourself to non-Russians, you're not doing your jobproperly," he said. He had high praise for assistant GM Larry Carriere, who stayed onwhen Gauthier was fired, but may add another assistant to hisstaff. Bergevin is to spend the weekend at the Memorial Cup mainlywatching four Canadiens' prospects Michael Bournival, MorganEllis, Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi.
He won't meet with them at the tournament, however. "As an ex-player, I know they need to focus on the tournament,"Bergevin said. "I just want to stay in the background and leavethem their space so they can help their team win.".
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